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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  January 19, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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next. i'm cheryl jennings. >> from all of us here, thanks for watching. see you at tonight on "world news," the heavyweights. china, the u.s., making a deal that could mean american jobs, as china's president admits problems there on human rights. the milestone. congresswoman gabrielle giffords ready to move to rehabilitation in houston. what is new today? alzheimer's advance. do you know the difference between alzheimer's and dementia? and could a new test help revive a failing brain? and, insider secrets. a wall street man uses his dying days to tell consumers how to succeed against their big bank. good evening. under way tonight, a kind of super bowl summit at the white
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house. the two economic super powers. the two biggest economies in the world. president obama and china's president hu met face to face. and, china agreed to buy $45 billion worth of u.s. goods, which could keep 235,000 americans on the job. and what about that thorny issue, china's record on human rights? jake tapper has it all tonight from the white house. jake? >> reporter: good evening, diane. white house officials say that more than 50% of the conversation between president obama and chinese president hu jintao was about jobs, opening up china's markets to u.s. goods to increase u.s. manufacturing. but that goal is often in direct conflict with the desire for the chinese to show more respect for human rights and on that front, there was a rare admission today by the chinese leader. morning broke with the pomp and circumstance of a state visit. >> on behalf of the american people, welcome to the united states.
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>> reporter: president obama declared that the two super powers have an enormous stake in each other's success. but the issue of human rights was present all day. in protests across the street about china's oppression of religious minorities and tibet -- >> we just want to show that they're the skeletons in hu jintao's closet. >> reporter: and from the president in his opening remarks. >> history shows that societies are more harmonious and the world is more just when the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all people are upheld. >> reporter: replied president hu -- "china and the u.s. should respect each other's choice of development path and each other's core interests." in other words, back off. but later, at a joint press conference, a possibly significant change in words. president hu made a concession that experts call a shift in rhetoric, at least, acknowledging, quote, a lot still needs to be done in china
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in terms of human rights. >> that frank and candid assessment on our part will continue. but that doesn't prevent us from cooperating in these other critical areas. >> reporter: these other areas, the president says, are millions of potential american jobs, as he pushed for hu to open chinese markets to more u.s. products. >> we want to sell you planes, cars, we want to tell you software. >> reporter: today came announcements of deals for u.s. exports to china worth more than $45 billion. supporting, one way or another, the white house says, 235,000 american jobs. one case in point? riverside, california's, mvp-rv. a chinese company is investing $310 billion to export motor homes to china. >> as we get this investment, we're immediate going to be able to put jobs right back here in southern california. over 1,000 jobs that have been lost recently. >> reporter: and diane, that state dinner is under way, with president obama and first lady
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obama greeting president hu jintao at the portico at the white house. it's a who's who in that room right now. and the theme of the state dinner is, quote, quintessentially american. that's reflected in the decor, the entertainment, which is jazz and in, of course, the menu, which is surf and turf, lobster and rib eye steak, and, of course, that quintessentially american dessert, apple pie. >> as american as. thank you, jake tapper. and we have news on gabrielle giffords tonight. she stood up today, on both feet, and looked out the window of the tucson hospital. she's set to take another extraordinary step in her recovery, word tonight she could be released from the hospital in tucson as soon as friday. dan harris has the latest on her progress and tells us about the video that is giving investigators new clues. >> reporter: when congresswoman giffords is released, she will be thrown here, to the memorial hermann rehab center in houston,
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considered to be one of the best in the country. in an upbeat e-mail to family and friends obtained by "the new york times," giffords' mother, gloria, says gabby has scrolled through pictures on her husband's iphone. tried to untie his tie. and even looked at get well cards. quote, every day gabby improves and shows higher levels of comprehension and complex actions. doctors say giffords has still not yet tried to speak and has a long road ahead of her. >> it's not uncommon that a patient after a severe traumatic brain injury has to relearn a lot of those simple daily activities. >> reporter: meanwhile, investigators in this case are talking about what they've seen on the surveillance video from the shooting scene, which is likely to be key evidence in the trial. jared loughner allegedly walks into the picture in a hurried fashion at 10:10 a.m. and shoots the congresswoman right above her left eyebrow from a distance of about three feet. in the video, investigators say, you can see an act of true heroism. ron barber, a giffords staffer, gets hit and then federal judge
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john roll dives on top of him to shield him, only to get shot as well. ron barber lived, judge roll did not. investigators say the tapes show how deliberate and calculated the killings were. moments before, loughner can be seen calmly talking to a safeway employee, motioning to his ears that he cannot hear. he was wearing ear plugs. the tapes may not be released until loughner's trial begins, by which time, the hope is that congresswoman giffords is in vastly better shape. dan harris, abc news. and everyone who knows gabrielle giffords talks about how physically active she's always been, even rallying friends out of bed for ten-mile rides and runs, bike rides in the early morning cold. and doctors hope this stamina will help as she heals. as giffords' husband, astronaut mark kelly, has been by her side for the 11 days since the shootings, he says now he is
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continuing to believe, he is determined to believe that she will be up in just two weeks. and i sat down with him at the hospital, and during our interview, he was already looking ahead. >> as soon as they get her to a rehab center, she'll be on her way to recovery. i've got people looking at the best facility, you know, for her. so, we've got to figure out exactly what she needs. we got to see -- you know, gabby's got a long road ahead of her. but we know that, you know, the recovery from these kind of injuries isn't measured in days and weeks, it's more like weeks and months. but she's a really, really tough woman. i think if anybody can recover from this, it's her. and so i'm confident that she's going to, you know, she'll make a full recovery. >> reporter: so, they're not saying to you they're ruling out anything -- >> no, they're not ruling out anything. the progress she has made with this injury has been nothing short of a miracle. >> reporter: they rule out nothing about motor ability, nothing about speech, nothing
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about the future? >> they don't rule out anything. she could make -- i'm telling them she's going to make 100% recovery and they say that's possible. >> and everyone prays that's the case. and, moving on to health care, ten months after president obama signed the landmark health care reform bill, the house of representatives voted late today to repeal the historic law. while the vote is seen as symbolic, the republicans who now control the house were keeping a promise and sending a message. and jon karl is on capitol hill. >> reporter: and with that, the house voted to repeal the health care law by a bigger and slightly more bipartisan margin than it passed last year. >> this new law is a fiscal house of cards and it is a health care house of cards. >> reporter: for republicans, a promise kept, although repeal stands virtually no chance of passing in the senate. democrats called it a political
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stunt. >> republicans are not offering a single solution to this problem. they can't even tell you what their secret plan is. it's part of the harry houdini health care strategy. now you have health care, now you don't. >> reporter: the debate was, for the most part, civil. that is, until one democratic congressman accused republicans of behaving like nazis. >> they say it's a government takeover of health care. a big lie. you say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie and eventually people believe it. the germans said enough about the jews and the people believed it and you had the holocaust. >> reporter: the health care law may not be popular, but many of the provisions now in effect are. already, seniors are getting more money to pay for their prescription drugs. children can stay on their parents insurance until age 26. and children with pre-existing conditions can't be denied coverage. to kris cambra, whose 4-year-old son has a heart condition, the
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law is a life-changer and repeal would be a disaster. >> if we were to lose our health insurance, we could not have coverage for his surgeries that he needs, his ongoing therapies. we would be faced with paying for a lot of that out of pocket or maybe not even being able to afford it at all. >> reporter: house republicans know full well that the senate is not going to repeal the health care bill, so, their next step is to try to cut out funding for the law, but diane, even as they try to do that, they're talking about replacing the popular provisions of the law such as guaranteeing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. >> and you'll be watching what's happening, i know. jon karl on capitol hill. and a jaw-dropping moment to tell you about from philadelphia. a 50-foot fire ball ripped through a residential area, all of it caught on tape and the culprit, a 12-inch piece of pipe, part of a national gas main. the kind that snakes beneath millions of homes all across this country. david kerley has more. >> reporter: with daylight, a crater of clues from this
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explosion. watch as workers walk out of a house last night in a neighborhood where residents reported smelling gas. >> the corner store just went up. >> there's pieces of the building on the corner flying through the air. i was like, oh, my god. >> reporter: the power of the explosion and 50-foot high fire ball killed one of the gas company workers who had responded. three others are in a burn unit tonight in critical condition. the massive explosion came from a high-pressure 12-inch main. a pipe that was traveling through the neighborhood. that was the same situation in northern california last year when a 30-inch high pressure main blew up in san bruno, destroying 37 homes, killing eight people. these pipes run under almost every road. there are 325,000 miles of those big main pipes and more than two million miles of the much smaller pipes that carry gas to your house. there have long been worries about aging infrastructure, but that san bruno explosion exposed a problem with simple record keeping.
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the utility thought it had a certain type of pipe underground, turns out it was a weaker type of pipe. and federal officials are worried this may not be the only case. federal investigators are so concerned, they've set up hearings and sent at warning to all pipelines. >> if you don't know what type of pipe you have, you can't do the right risk assessment. >> reporter: in philadelphia, the pipe has been capped, as investigators try to figure out what caused the nation's latest deadly explosion. david kerley, abc news, washington. still ahead on "world news," have scientists found a breakthrough test that can tell you whether it's alzheimer's or another possibly curable form of dementia? the tiny gadgets that can pose a big hazard for all passenger planes. and, a titan of wall street, passing on the secrets of his fellow bankers. before he died, what he wanted you to know.
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tomorrow, a panel of experts will advise the fda whether to decide to recommend a milestone test in helping diagnose alzheimer's disease. tonight, dr. richard besser reports. >> reporter: 70-year-old matt wozniak doesn't know why he's been forgetting his keys or what he watched on tv. could it be medication side
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effects? parkinson's disease? or what everyone fears. >> i guess my wife and children would like to know whether i have alzheimer's. >> reporter: but doctors haven't been able to give them that answer. until now. for the first time, a study shows that an imaging test can detect what are called amyloid plaques in a person's brain. an abnormal protein always found in patients with alzheimer's disease. here's what the study showed. this is a scan of normal healthy brain, but take a look at this one. the brain lights up with amyloid plaque, suggesting a high likelihood of alzheimer's disease. until now, the only way to confirm alzheimer's disease was through an autopsy showing that amyloid plaque was in the brain of someone who suffered dementia. this new test brings us closer to being able to make that same diagnosis while someone is still alive. >> if somebody has been diagnosed clinically with dementia and does not have beta amyloid, then this suggests that
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it's some other kind of dementia and that it's not alzheimer's disease. >> reporter: that's important because unlike alzheimer's, some types of dementia can be treated. for matt, already diagnosed with dementia, this test opens the possibility of treatment that could change his life. >> i'm really hoping this will help doctors analyze the effects of new treatments. >> so, rich, how much severe brain confusion is actually alzheimer's. do they really know? >> reporter: it's really only half. there are a number of treatable causes. things from medication interactions, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, depression. if you can tell someone they don't have -- they don't have alzheimer's disease, that can be very helpful to a patient. and looking for a treatable cause. >> and even small strokes which can also be prevented if you treat it in some way? >> reporter: that's right. you can prevent strokes. so, knowing whether it's alzheimer's or not makes a big difference. >> all right, dr. richard besser on an announcement that may happen tomorrow. and coming up, the tiny
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gadgets even kids play with that cause big trouble in the skies.
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we think of them as gadgets, even just toys. lasers. but increasingly, they are being pointed at the sky and they can temporarily blind the pilots of planes. today, the faa released startling new numbers about this danger on the rise. and lisa stark reports. >> reporter: they are powerful and dangerous. this is a laser pointed right at a police helicopter in seattle.
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>> there it is. got him. >> reporter: last april, a jet blue flight coming into jfk was targeted. >> were they pointing it at you? >> yes, sir, directly pointed right at us. and i saw the flash to the left, looked out to the left as i was la landing. >> reporter: the plane, with 98 passengers, landed safely. shining a laser at an aircraft may seem like a harmless prank, but even a weak laser like this one can cause a blinding flash. lasers can even cause permanent eye damage. >> the amount of light that came from that green laser completely took over the cockpit. >> reporter: sergeant steve robertson was piloting a police helicopter in the skies over glendale, california, when he was struck by a laser. >> immediately, i felt an intense pain in both my eyes. i lost the vision momentarily in both my eyes. >> reporter: luckily, the other officer in the cockpit was not affected and able to land. the number of incidents is skyrocketing.
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more than 2,800 cases last year, up from 1,500 the year before and 300 just five years ago. the most incidents? at airports in los angeles, chicago, phoenix, san jose and las vegas. the beams can travel miles, as demonstrated by our new york affiliate, wabc. the laser extended from new jersey to manhattan. and they show just how dangerous the devices are, burning through thick plastic. >> if it punches through a plastic bag, imagine what it can do to the retina of your eye. >> reporter: those caught can get jail time. but that has not dimmed the enthusiasm for a practice that could bring down a plane. lisa stark, abc news, washington. coming up, a farewell gift from a financial gladiator. the wall street secrets he wanted you to know. d
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have you ever wondered what you would do if you could give everyone a parting gift at your death? well, one man decided to share the secrets he accumulated over a lifetime, conquering wall street. and david wright has his story. >> reporter: when an author talks about a deadline, it's usually not meant to be taken literally. but gordon murray decided to write his book the day he
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learned that the cancer he thought he had beaten was back. a malignant brain tumor. had i been 10, 20, 30 years younger, i think i probably would have wallowed in self-pity and got hung up in that. but i was lucky to be in a spot in my life where i had balance. >> reporter: he set to work co-authoring a how-to guide to investing. gordon murray knows a thing or two about that. for 25 years, he worked for wall street's biggest banks. the investment answer is a 66-page book in plain language. what you need to know to succeed long term in the markets. the opening words? "wall street brokers and active money managers use your relative lack of investment expertise to their benefit, not yours." >> finance is complex. the odds are stacked against you. you need help. i've met nurses, teachers, so many innocent, hard-working americans have lost everything
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because either a broker or their, even mutual fund has overcharged. >> reporter: he says it wasn't always this way. where did wall street go wrong? >> wall street went wrong, i think, there's a confluence of things, but in the late '70s, illegal and unethical were the same. your word was your bond. the client comes first. those expressions started to be replaced by, as you know, liars and loans. we can hide debt. >> reporter: greed is good. >> greed is good. >> reporter: the surprising thing is that he co-authored the book when he knew he had such little time left. >> am i ready? yes. i've never been afraid. i'm not religious but i just think it's like investing, you know, focus on what you can control. and i can't control, you know, how fast this tumor is growing. all you've got is each minute.
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the minute you and i have right now. and you just go from minute to minute. >> reporter: gordon died at home on saturday, having made the most of every minute. >> staying here at home and just doing the normal stuff and enjoying tv and enjoying the easy conversations that come with your kids in and out and the laughter and, you know, i'm rich. >> reporter: rich, indeed. >> yeah. >> reporter: david wright, abc news, california. >> gordon murray's book will be published next week and there will be more on him tonight on "nightline." have a wonderful night, every minute of it. se tonight a state wide amber alert takes divers to a kabl. we'll take you there live. they search for a 4-year-old kidnap victim. >> the owner of this hotel tried to put a tenant on the streets last week. tonight he's in jail for
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something extreme. >> and profits and pensions. how your bill helps balance the retirement funds of california's big power companies. and a call to action demanding immediate protection against violent inmates. >> here you can see the car pulled from a central valley canal just less than 45 minutes ago part of a statewide search for a missing little boy. it turned out to be a stolen vehicle but not the car they've been looking for. >> so it's back to square one in the search for a 4-year-old. divers are still at that canal and witness reported seeing a car plunge in after a state wide amber alert was issued. abc 7 is live for us tonight at the canal with the follow

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